Thursday, 14 March 2019

THANK YOUS IN THE MIDST OF A BLIP


Something has changed within me, something is not the same, I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game

-          Gravity from Wicked


I’m happy to finally be able to say that the most recent ‘blip’ in my mental health recovery seems to be coming to an end! Just like the beginning of this, I can pinpoint the trigger of it. I’ve talked a lot about how my abuser’s new job role sparked off a lot of old thoughts and feelings that led to a lot of old coping strategies but now I can finally talk about the causes of my stabilizing.

I think that the first thing was when I was asked whether there should be a phone call to the RSPCA to get my pets rehomed because if I was so intent on committing suicide then it wouldn’t be fair on them. Another trigger was the impact my suicidal intent had on those closest to me. It was a bit of a wake-up call – a common feeling for those who are suicidal is the belief that their friends and family will be better off without them. I too had this thought, but their reactions became evidence to the contrary. I realized – the hard way – that I was loved and when my Twitter was flooded with positive messages and hopes that I ‘feel better soon’ I really learnt that my work – this blog – was helping others and was told that without it, people might just give up hope. Sometimes, when you don’t want to be alive, the only way to move through it is to stay alive for the sake of others. That, at least, buys you some time to work on your thoughts and feelings until it you actually, finally, begin to feel better about yourself. The final trigger for this stabilization was the negative interaction I had with a particular Police Officer from the Northumbria Police force.



grate·ful

[ˈɡrātfəl]


ADJECTIVE

1.       feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful.

"I'm very grateful to you for all your help"

synonyms:

thankful · filled with gratitude · appreciative · indebted · obliged · obligated · under obligation · in your debt · beholden

·         archaic

received or experienced with gratitude; welcome.

"enjoying the grateful shade"



To put up a bit of a wall between the blip and now; I thought I’d use this post to take the opportunity to say some unsaid things to the organizations who have helped me through…



On the first instance the force was involved in this blip, the two officers were brilliant. They were forced to sit with me for almost an hour until the Crisis Team could come and assess me and rather than sit and talk about what a waste of their time it was, they talked to me about the successes of I’m NOT Disordered and played with my kitten! The second – and final – time your officers were involved… well, it wasn’t the greatest experience. In fairness, the female officer was lovely and made me laugh but the male officer told me he was ‘ignorant to the whole mental health thing.’ He talked about feeling like his role was to ‘babysit’ me and that it wasn’t the ‘traditional’ use of Police time and services. I told him that that’s why we (Inspector Steve Baker and Claire Andre) run the mental health training for the new recruits and he told me that one day’s training wouldn’t make a difference to the stigma. He left me feeling quite hopeless initially but then I managed to turn it into determination to do all that I can to improve attitudes and avoid someone else having that same experience with that same officer.


2.    Blyth and Cramlington Community Mental Health Team

My Community Psychiatric Nurse has been brilliant in coordinating everything between the different organizations that have been involve through this blip. She’s also probably my greatest – professional – emotional support with all of the work we’ve done around talking about the different things I’ve gone through and helping me find closure with them.



When I was finally put under the care of the Crisis Team, I wasn’t at all reluctant to co-operate with them.  In the days before my lengthy admission to Cygnet Bierley, the Crisis Team were… abysmal! They used to have about two staff and one phoneline for the entire county! I think that they were overstretched and therefore unappreciated, meant they were… useless, I guess. They avoided adding people to their caseload because there weren’t enough staff to support those who were already on it and that avoidance cost lives. Suicide and self-harm rates rose. But now? The entire Team aren’t judgmental, they’re dedicated to their job and to helping people.



These past few admissions, I haven’t seen any staff who have held any sort of judgement or stigma towards me and mental health in general. In fact, all of the Nurses, Healthcare Assistants and Doctors have been kind and thoughtful in making sure ALL my medications were prescribed and going out of their way to do whatever I needed to keep me safe during the admissions.


5.    Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

So, I met a lovely Sister on the Assessment Suite and she sat talking with me for over half an hour while we waited for the Diazepam to kick in. Up until that point, I’d been unsafe and after the Doctor prescribed me the sedative, I wondered how I was going to cope until it helped me to stay safe. But the Sister saw me through; she helped me to find the words to describe what had caused me to take an overdose which worked as a distraction to the thoughts to self-harm further.



My Support Worker with RichmondFellowship Tyneside has been perfect at helping me with the practical side of things during this blip. She’s helped manage my anxiety during the weekly food shops, and she’s helped me to understand things when the Pharmacy and GP have messed up my medication (particularly since the increase in my anti-psychotic; Aripiprazole). Then there’s been the Communications department at Head Office who have provided me with umpteen opportunities to chair events, printing my pieces in their internal newsletter, and having me join the judging panel for the upcoming Enrich Awards 2019.



There was only the one occasion during the blip when the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) have been involved and they were lovely! I had two female Paramedics come to my home and spend about twenty minutes convincing me to go to Hospital for treatment of the overdose I’d taken. They listened to what I had to say, they validated my thoughts and feelings, and then they explained things in a subtly persuasive way. It made me feel like I’d be letting them down to not agree to go to hospital after spending so much time talking to me; like I’d wasted their time. So I went and had the life-saving treatment.